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July 20, 2006
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(Please visit our sponsors. We try to make sure their products and services will be of interest to you. Thanks! --Editor)

IRS EP Is Scheduling Examinations for Nonparticipants in Global Tax Shelter Settlement
Excerpt: "Employee plans that did not volunteer to participate in the IRS's global tax shelter settlement initiative will be hearing from the government, Michael Julianelle, Director of Examinations for IRS Employee Plans (EP), announced in the Summer 2006 edition of Employee Plans News." (CCH Pension & Benefits)

Tentative Deal Reached on Pension Reform Bill
Excerpt: "Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., speaking to reporters after a meeting of conferees, said: 'I think everything has been resolved.' He did not offer details. Sen. Enzi said provisions now are being written and that conferees will meet Thursday to try to reach a final agreement. If an agreement is finalized, the full House and Senate could vote on the bill as soon as early next week." (Business Insurance)

Legislative Outlook -- Signs of Progress in the Pension Reform Conference
Excerpt: "The current thinking is that things may move very quickly, with legislation going to the House and Senate floor as early as next week. Apparently the need to provide an indication by the end of July that there will be airline funding relief has made immediate action likely." (CCA Strategies LLC)

Opinion: Airlines Do Not Deserve a Congressional Reprieve from Their Pension Promises
Excerpt: "Congress is finalizing legislation that ought to clamp down on [pension funding] financial abuse. Its premise is that when companies promise a defined benefit to retirees, they should put aside enough cash to fund it. But the airlines consider this outrageous, and they want special exemptions." (The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Opinion: A Pension Catastrophe Is Coming
Excerpt: "For working families and the poor, any subsidy or benefit is deemed too much. But for the rich and the powerful, unlimited amounts of taxpayer dollars are routinely made available for bailouts. In the arena of private-sector defined-benefit pension plans, a huge conspiracy has been set in motion with a profitable bailout at the end for corporations." (Rep. Major Owens (D-N.Y.) via The Hill)

Two New Stock Drop Decisions-- Friendly Skies for ERISA Fiduciaries?
Excerpt: "Recently, courts issued rulings in two separate employer securities cases. The first decision, issued on June 26, involved the stock of US Airways held in a US Airways 401(k) plan. The second, issued on June 28, involved the stock of United Airlines held in an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) sponsored by United." (Groom Law Group via BNA Tax Management)

IASB Begins Project to Align Pension Accounting Standards with U.S. FASB
Excerpt: "The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has added [July 18, 2006] a two-phase project to its agenda designed to converge its accounting standards for pensions to that of the US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

New Jersey Set to Alter Public Employee Pension Investment Management
Excerpt: "Prodded by a governor and a state treasurer who spent years on Wall Street, New Jersey is poised to adopt a plan that would shift about a quarter of the state's $72 billion pension fund from the control of state employees to private money managers within the next year." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)

New York Gov. Pataki Vetoes Early Retirement Bill for Public Employees
Excerpt: "Gov. George Pataki [yesterday] vetoed a bill that would have allowed teachers and other government workers with 25 years of experience to retire at 55 with the benefits now available at 62." (uticaOD.com)

Employers Moving Away from Traditional Benefit Plans, According to a Recent Eastbridge Study
Excerpt: "The survey . . . found that 77 percent of respondents believe that employers are likely to move towards a 'defined contribution' approach to employee benefits. This was up from 68 percent in 2004." (Business Wire via InsuranceNewsNet.com)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Opinion from Graef Crystal: Granting Options to Take Advantage of Good News
Excerpt: "The law, known as Sarbanes-Oxley, was designed to curb various abuses after all the shenanigans surrounding the collapse of companies such as Enron Corp. and WorldCom Inc. Sarbanes-Oxley seems to have put a clamp on the practice of backdating options -- deciding today, after your company's stock price has soared, that your new option should carry a price that occurred weeks or months ago." (Bloomberg News)

As Workers' Pensions Wither, Those for Executives Flourish -- June 23, 2006, WSJ Article
Excerpt: "The pension plans for [General Motors'] rank-and-file U.S. workers are overstuffed with cash, containing about $9 billion more than is needed to meet their obligations for years to come. Another of GM's pension programs, however, saddles the company with a liability of $1.4 billion. These pensions are for its executives." (Wall Street Journal via Coalition for Retirement Security)

How to Get Ready for the New Proxy Executive Compensation Disclosure Rules
Excerpt: "Here's a rundown on five areas where [an] organization can take steps to prepare for the new regulations." (Towers Perrin)

Deferring Compensation Also Creates a Company Debt to Executives (June 23, 2006, WSJ article)
Excerpt: "'Deferred-comp' plans . . . are liabilities for the companies -- that is, debts. The carrying cost of this debt is something that companies must deduct from their earnings each quarter. Deferred-comp plans resemble executive pensions, in particular, because they often aren't 'funded.' That is, companies usually don't lock away assets in the plans to pay the money when due. So deferred-comp plans affect company profits in much the same way as executive pensions do: by reducing them." (Wall Street Journal via Coalition for Retirement Security)


We thank and invite your attention to our additional sponsor: The Center for Tax Law and Employee Benefits at The John Marshall Law School

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You Have the Potential. We Have the Programs.

Are you working in human resources? Are you dealing with health insurance plans or pension benefits? Learn how you can broaden your experience with an M.S. degree (for non-lawyers) or LL.M degree (for attorneys) in employee benefits from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago during an information session from 5 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, August 2. Learn how these unique programs can help advance your career.

(Please visit our sponsors. We try to make sure their products and services will be of interest to you. Thanks! --Editor)

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Employee/Independent Contractor - Basics and Beyond
Nationwide on August 17, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Mutual Fund Fees and Disgorgement
Nationwide on July 25, 2006
presented by Securities and Exchange Commission Historical Society

New Stock Valuation Requirements for Closely Held Companies Under the New Deferred Compensation Plan Regulations
Nationwide on November 29, 2006
presented by National Center for Employee Ownership

Securities Law Requirements for Equity Compensation in Closely Held Companies
Nationwide on November 30, 2006
presented by National Center for Employee Ownership

Using ESOPs as an Acquisition Strategy
Nationwide on September 21, 2006
presented by National Center for Employee Ownership


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Deloitte Consulting LLP Survey: 401(k) Participation On The Rise, But Will Employees Be Financially Ready For Retirement?
(Deloitte)

Allied Pilots Association Emphasizes Support for Age 60 Retirement
(Allied Pilots Association (APA))

First-Ever Awards Recognizing Excellence in Incentives and Rewards are Presented by the National Business Coalition on Health and The Leapfrog Group
(National Business Coalition on Health)

CitiStreet Small Corporate Sales Jump 21 Percent in 1st Six Months
(CitiStreet)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Client Integration Transition Manager
for Diversified Investment Advisors
in NY

Plan Administrator
for TPA Firm
in MI

Client Relations Manager
for ING
in PA

Senior Manager
for 1199SEIU Benefit and Pension Funds
in NY

Senior Benefits Administrator
for Milliman, Inc.
in WA

Employee Benefits Consultant (Daily Valuation Expert)
for Clifton Gunderson LLP
in IL

Sr. Benefits Analyst
for Tyco Electronics
in PA

Director of Benefits
for Cablevision
in NY

Benefit Analyst
for Clark Consulting
in TX




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